After a Sabbath day of continued study and reflection on the things and ways of the Lord I am ready to present you with the promises made to all true believers and followers of Christ, as members of His church, His body. The promises are many and great but much is expected of us to earn them, my previous posts in this series detail this, both the do’s and the don’ts. I feel such unworthiness, yet great gratitude that Christ the Lord and Savior would make such promises to me, and you, if we just persevere to follow him, to overcome this world and it’s temptations, always looking to God, looking to the Lord for guidance, strength, wisdom and hope – always looking up anxiously awaiting with great joy his imminent return.
To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
What a promise is here made to us, that if we overcome we shall eat of the tree of life in the paradise of God! As true followers of Christ we are granted eternal life with Him, think of the great mercy and blessing it will be to ever be with our Savior.
He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
Not only will we eat of the tree of life but we will be spared the second death, eternal punishment and judgement. It is true our works will be judged and justly rewarded but we will not face the great white throne judgement where unbelievers will receive their just punishment of eternal punishment for their sins. Praise the Lord he paid that debt for us in full so that we are spared from the punishment we deserve. That he bore that weight, that death for us asking only that we repent of our sins, believe in Him and all he did, then follow him.
To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
I will share a quote from Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary here as it explains much better than I can the great joys of this reward to all who overcome.
“The hidden manna, the influences and comforts of the Spirit of Christ in communion with him, coming down from heaven into the soul, from time to time, for its support, to let it taste something how saints and angels live in heaven. This is hidden from the rest of the world – a stranger intermeddles not with this joy; and it is laid up in Christ, the ark of the covenant, in the holy of holies. The white stone, with a new name engraven upon it. This white stone is absolution from the guilt of sin, alluding to the ancient custom of giving a white stone to those acquitted on trial and a black stone to those condemned. The new name is the name of adoption: adopted persons took the name of the family into which they were adopted. None can read the evidence of a man’s adoption but himself; he cannot always read it, but if he persevere he shall have both the evidence of sonship and the inheritance.”
I think it bears noting as well that a white stone was used in the days of Rome as a sort of identification, sort of like our passports or id cards today. Subjects and citizens were issued white stones bearing their names as a means of identifying who was who and where they were allowed to go. For instance a Roman citizen might show his stone to gain entry into the Colosseum.
And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star.
Here we are promised power over the nations, to rule them with a rod of iron, this is in conjecture with Christ himself during the millennial reign over the earth. We will be fellow judges over those who oppose our Lord and Savior, the God of all that was, is and will be. As followers and believers in truth, in Christ we are granted the morning star, that is the light of Christ shines upon us, around us, through us. We are filled with the light of grace and glory, with His love and wisdom.
He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
I will again go to Henry for his excellent commentary on this verse.
“A great reward promised to the conquering Christian, and it is very much the same with what has been already mentioned: He that overcometh shall be clothed in white raiment. The purity of grace shall be rewarded with the perfect purity of glory. Holiness, when perfected, shall be its own reward; glory is the perfection of grace, differing not in kind, but in degree. Now to this is added another promise very suitable to the case: I will not blot his name out of the book of life, but will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. Observe, Christ has his book of life, a register and roll of all who shall inherit eternal life. The book of eternal election. The book of remembrance of all those who have lived to God, and have kept up the life and power of godliness in evil times. Christ will not blot the names of his chosen and faithful ones out of this book of life; men may be enrolled in the registers of the church, as baptized, as making a profession, as having a name to live, and that name may come to be blotted out of the roll, when it appears that it was but a name, a name to live, without spiritual life; such often lose the very name before they die, they are left of God to blot out their own names by their gross and open wickedness. But the names of those that overcome shall never be blotted out. Christ will produce this book of life, and confess the names of the faithful who stand there, before God, and all the angels; he will do this as their Judge, when the books shall be opened; he will do this as their captain and head, leading them with him triumphantly to heaven, presenting them to the Father: Behold me, and the children that thou hast given me. How great will this honour and reward be!
Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
We shall go out no more, we will always be with the Lord, that is the greatest reward of all.
To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Overcome, people, overcome. Do not let the trials and temptations of this sin cursed, fallen world keep you from the eternal promises made to the chosen of Christ, the elect, the bride! Remember:
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 7:14